Archive for the 'crafty stuff' Category


Birthday Cupcakes

Birthday Cupcakes

I am working on my cake decorating skills. This is what I did for my daughters 7th birthday, as you can see, it’s a work in progress. She asked for chocolate (boxed, thank you very much), with blue and white frosting. At the last minute she decided it needed to be more girly…enter sprinkles. I think I might of messed up the frosting because I had to unclog the decorating nib several times. But she loved them, so mission accomplished.


hat & scarf

E needed some cold weather gear that wasn’t all stretched out and pilly from her big sister using it, so I made her a hat and scarf with some leftover yarn I had in my basket.

This was my first attempt at cabling on a hat (and my second attempt at cabling ever), so I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. The shape is a little wonky and has to be pulled down on her head every so often, but it works. Next time I think I’ll make the cables bigger or the stripes in between a little smaller.


Personalized Burp Cloths

I won this adorable personalized burp cloth for Jude! I love it because it makes me look super prepared and fashionable when he, say, dive bombs me in church and the whole row behind me gasps. 🙂


If you want one  visit this etsy shop:


B’s 5th Birthday Cake

For her 5th birthday, B requested a rainbow cake with flowers. So, I did some searching and found this amazing rainbow cake and figured hey, why not? So I bought the gel food coloring and the two boxes of simple white cake mix (5 year olds don’t care how this stuff tastes!!), mixed up the lemony Swiss meringue buttercream and we ended up with this:

I then put a plate on top as a template and trimmed the edges so that we would have nice straight lines to work with.

Then I frosted the whole thing with more lemony Swiss meringue buttercream. One note that was not in the original recipe (as I recall) was that you really need to use unsalted butter. I used salted (which I generally do unless instructed otherwise) and it was a bit strong. A few weeks later I made another buttercream that called for unsalted and it was so much better and more delicately flavored.

Then came the flowers part. I found this great tutorial on how to make gum paste flowers and gave it a go.

I made big ones and little ones, pastel ones and brighter ones. It took a while, so I watched episodes of Cake Boss (for inspiration, of course) on Netflix instant streaming while I worked.

Then it was time to figure out how to arrange the flowers on the cake. I searched lots of images of wedding cakes and tried to adjust some designs to fit on a single tier cake rather than a 3 or 4 tier one. I gave it a practice run on a sheet of paper so that I wouldn’t make the cake look all goofy by moving flowers all over the place.

And then I put together the final product! I added some sugar pearls to give it just a little more fun detail.

I was very pleased with the final product, as was the Guest of Honor (disguised here as Snow White).

The really fun part was not telling people that it was a rainbow cake though, and then when we cut it open…

…everyone was surprised!


Make Believe Bouquet

This is a little bouquet that I made for B for Christmas. She is currently living in the world of make believe and dress-ups, so it seemed appropriate. I got some simple little silk flowers from Michael’s and trimmed off the ends. Then I wrapped the stems with athletic tape (some other fabric-like tape would also work well, or maybe duct tape) and put a cotton ball or two over the sharp wire ends of the stems and taped over that as well to prevent pokes. Then I used lots of hot glue to make the ribbons stay in place! I first wrapped the stems with the pink satin ribbon and secured that and then I twisted the yellow ribbon around, gluing it at all the twists and finally at the big bow. It has held up pretty well over the last few weeks with just a few of the flowers popping off of their plastic stems from time to time. But fortunately they’re silk so it’s super easy to just pop them back on!

Click on the photos for enlargements. Also, would someone like to clue me in on how to add multiple images to a post while still being able to insert text in between them? After I’ve put one image into the post, every time I click on the “insert image” button again it just inserts another one of the images I already have in the post. I was able to put these in with the gallery function, but alas, no in-between text.


Yarn Shops

I’ve really gotten into knitting lately. One of the consequences is that I am now very snooty when it comes to my yarn. I pretty much ignore anything with “acrylic” on the label, which means that Michael’s and JoAnn’s are pretty much useless as far as yarn goes for me. Acrylic yarns just seem to pill and get nasty feeling so quickly, and if I’m going to spend hours (or months!) on a project, I want it to last forever. Local yarn shops to the rescue!! In November we got a new shop here in Moscow called the Yarn Underground. It’s small, and it’s underground, but it’s a noble attempt for our little town. I want all you locals to know about it so that you will go there and buy things so they can stick around and build up their inventory. I got some great Frog Tree Meriboo in pink and brown and made a fun little striped hat for B to match her new winter coat. Nice to work with and very cozy for a little girl’s hat.

My second resource is A Grand Yarn up in Spokane. It’s a bit of a drive for us locals, but it’s easy to tack it on to a normal Spokane shopping trip (you can just go south on Bernard to Grand, hit the shop, and then continue south to take Hatch road out of Spokane and hit the Starbucks by Albertson’s for your drive-home-caffeine). This shop is a dream. They have a huge selection of so many lovely things that I just kind of walk around in circles drooling. They also have lots of great examples of projects that are very inspiring. My brilliant husband gave me a gift certificate here for Christmas and I’m very excited to make some fun stuff with their yarn. They have all of the Cascade basics, but then they add some great specialty yarns so you will have a hard time deciding what to use for your next project. There’s also a great little spot for the kiddos to play while you shop. I highly recommend it, but don’t go in if you don’t know what you’re planning to make because otherwise you’ll be tempted to walk out with bags and bags of beautifulness because it’s just all so yummy.


Easy Advent Calendar

For those of us who aren’t feeling especially crafty this holiday season (and whose disposable income has recently been clobbered by buying diapers for both the toddler and the newborn), I humbly present my makeshift advent calendar.

  • White Organdy Ribbon $1.99
  • 3 sets of 10 Miniature Stockings with gold glitter glue @ $2.99 ea
  • 2 sets of 28 piece Andes Mint Chocolates @ $2.99 ea
*Andes chocolates work great because they come individually wrapped and each box contains 28 pieces.